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UCSB Schools Athenas to Improve to 2-0

Box Score

Bookmark and Share Printer Friendly Feb. 3, 2008

Kristyn Gherardi Led UCSB Over Claremont Claremont, CA - Neither rain, cold, sloppy conditions nor a lost van carrying half the UCSB team could hold the Gauchos back during a wet but exciting morning game on Super Bowl Sunday at Claremont. UCSB won 12-10 but it wasn't that close. The Athenas were an NCAA Division III playoff team last year. They return 11 starters and all reserves from their 15-2 season, a program best. UCSB, ranked third in the WDIA, was fresh off a dominating 23-3 win over 18th-ranked UC San Diego on Saturday. The Gauchos walked and swam into the temporary lagoon on Parents Field at Claremont College. Water inches deep in some low spots on the field might have had some wishing they'd brought their wet suits, but the spirited Gauchos were nonplussed. The final van of players arrived with plenty of time to spare, a full 10 minutes before the first draw, and it was game on.

Claremont took an early 2-0 lead before the Gauchos stormed back to make it 6-5 with less than a minute to go before half-time. A Claremont draw control led to a quick transition to offense that drew a foul and a successful free-position shot. It was 6-6 at the intermission. After regrouping in the locker room at half-time, a swarming UCSB defense tied up the Athenas all over the field. Double teams anywhere and everywhere were the rule and Claremont succumbed to the relentless pressure. The Gauchos caused turnovers and fastbreaked their way to a string of 6 unanswered goals over the first 20 minutes of the second half to build a 12-6 lead.

"I truly hope the ability to make a run like that in adverse conditions playing a good team on their home field defines our program," said first year head coach
Paul Ramsey after the game.

UCSB senior
Kristyn Gherardi (San Mateo, CA) had a ridiculous game with 9 ground balls, 8 caused turnovers, 3 draw controls and a goal. Freshman Ashley Antoon-Algieri (San Ramon, CA) led UCSB in scoring with 4 goals but a total of seven Gauchos contributed to the scoring effort. Freshman Diane Clow (Poway, CA) had 5 saves to get her second collegiate win in the cage. (Complete goal and assist stats to be posted when Claremont Sports Information FAXes them over).

Claremont mounted a run of their own in the waning moments of the game to show they weren't helpless, but even with their starters going up against UCSB reserves and 'B' Team players, there just wasn't enough time. The Gauchos substitutes, who were in the game to gain valuable experience, did a nice job of preserving the win.

UCSB subbed liberally throughout the game, using all 17 'A' Team players and 5 of the 'B' Team players who dressed for the contest. The mixing and matching of players may have led to Claremont coming back in the last ten minutes, but Ramsey feels that UCSB is deep beyond their 'A' Team and that the experience was as important as the final score.

"We have some strong players on our 'B' Team. All they need is experience. More of them are capable of playing and contributing, but logistically it's tough to work that many into the game and keep any kind of flow."

"The more we do it, though, the better we will get at it. Having them here for this game and getting this experience was worth the late goals Claremont scored,
" concluded Ramsey.

The Gauchos are next action for their home opener on February 9th at 1:00pm when they host WDIA 16th ranked Lindenwood University at the UCSB Lacrosse Field (aka The Pit). Lindenwood is an NAIA institution with a varsity lacrosse program that competes in the WDIA.


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